NORTH NAPLES, Fla - A North Naples man is remembered for giving his heart to the community. Angelo Lotti played a very important role teaching first responders how to treat patients with a special heart pump.
Last October, Lotti spent two days at the North Naples fire station showing off his left ventricular assist device (LVAD) and even though he's no longer with us, his hope to raise awareness about the device and training lives on.
Angelo Lotti was born with a heart condition. Over the course of his life it got worse. A year ago he received an LVAD because at 70 years old he wasn't able to have a heart transplant.
But, the device presents first responders with a unique challenge. Those who have it don't have a pulse and CPR could be fatal.
"You can talk about it all you want in the training and class and show pictures, but it really comes down to being able to talk to the person that has the device and to see it in person," says Lt. Jodi Vansickle of the North Naples Fire District.
Lotti proved to be a critical component during the North Naples training on the LVAD teaching first responders how the device works.
"He loved to teach. He should have been a teacher instead of a mechanical engineer," says his wife Evelyn.
Lotti died before the North Naples Fire District could thank him for his help. "He was really a saving force for many patients," says Dr. Jeffrey Panozzo.
Thursday, fire fighters and first responders gave a plaque to his wife as a thank you and a reminder of her husband's mission to save other lives.
"That was like the biggest blessing I've ever known. I was so touched by that and I know if Angelo were alive he would have been ecstatic," says Evelyn.